Deputies recover 20 stolen guns

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Updated: 6/29/2013 12:02 am Published: 2/27/2013 7:11 pm

A third person has been arrested in the case of 63 guns stolen from a former Sand Springs Police officer
and veteran.

A gun was found as far away as New Jersey.

"A gun like this takes a special license, a special permit to own," said Cherokee County Undersheriff Jason Chennault.

He showed FOX23’s Dontaye Carter a fully automatic assault rifles the department recovered after it was stolen around November or December of 2011. The Sheriff’s Office worked with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to track down 20 of the guns stolen and 4,000 rounds of ammunition.

Investigators arrested 18-year-old Allen Nelson Monday. He is charged with burglary.

20-year-old Tyler Brent Stacey and 21-year-old Mohammad Ziyada were arrested last month. They plead guilty in federal court to conspiracy to sell stolen guns.

During the summer of 2012, a man who bought some of the stolen guns called police to tell them he bought guns from Ziyada and Stacy in Western Oklahoma.

FOX23 reached the former officer, Steve Ecker, by phone Wednesday.

"After a year my expectation was getting kind of low," he said.

Ecker believes his best security was people not knowing he had the weapons.

"My grandson had invited friends to the house,” he said. “They became aware of the items."

Fortunately, Ecker wrote down the gun's serial numbers.

It helped deputies track down some of the guns worth more than $85,000.

"You can never let your guard down," he said.

A fourth person will also face burglary charges. The burglars stole three large safes full of guns. Two are still missing along with 43 other guns. Anyone with information is asked to call the Cherokee County Sheriff's office at (918) 456-2583.

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